Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Of helmets and thick skulls...

Some call me the space cowboy...
Finn get his cranial band

So two days after Finn's 5th month he has a new look. It's a helmet, more specifically a cranial band, and he will eventually be wearing it for 23 hours at a time. Yesterday was the fitting, then off for an hour followed by on for an hour. Each day the "on" time stretches out until he reaches the 23 hour point. We decided on the "galaxy" motif for some reason, though I thought it would be more blue and less purple. So far he hasn't complained about it, as it only applies "static" pressure and doesn't squeeze him at all, while encouraging growth in the "voids", or where his head is flat. If you didn't read it here before, Finn has a moderate case of plagiocephaly, which is a flattening of one side of the back of his head. It makes his face and ears a bit asymmetrical, and if left untreated can lead to scoliosis, jaw problems, balance issues and other things that generally freak nervous parents like us out. We tried repositioning him for about two months to "even out" his spot, but it hasn't corrected itself much. Hopefully the helmet will take care of the problem in anywhere from one to 8 months. Finn is an awesome kid who gives everyone a smile and loves attention. If you see a kid in a similar contraption, don't look away thinking there's something wrong with them or that his parents are embarrased of him. He's a normal, loveable guy with a goofy helmet is all.

Work is back to normal, sort of, so I've had a little time to catch up on emails and other things. One email was from Nobby Hashizume, who has been very busy promoting the Arthur Lydiard foundation and its home on the web, Five Circles. He noticed that my recent 22 mile run was under 7 minute pace, even with the anaerobic work and my current job situation. I hope he doesn't mind, but to paraphrase him just wouldn't do him justice, so here is a bit of what he said-

"...a word of caution; as you get fitter and with all the leg-turnover type workouts, you might feel like you're flying. But just be careful. For example, Snell and Baillie and those guys would do 22-mile Waitak in 2:15~2:10 during conditioning phase (when you push your aerobic limit way up high) but once they start doing track workouts, they actually slow them down to 2:20~2:30 range. Baillie explained to me as "the day after you either raced or had some tough track workout on Saturday, it's actually nice to just get up and go for a nice and easy 2-hour run around Waitak with my buddies..." As long as you feel strong, that's fine but your time to push those longs runs are behind you; you've got it well. Slowing down on those long runs shouldn't hurt you that much. In the coming weeks, you'd be doing those long time trials or tempo runs to prepare yourself for the marathon. You should really slow down the weekend long runs then. Remember, there's time to run hard; there's time to run easy' there's time to run long; and there's time to run short. Everything should be balanced. And one final word; it's always better to under-developed than over-developed. In fact, Nakamura used to say that the best way to prepare for the marathon is that you're 90% ready at the start "...and you come to 100% at 35km mark" he used to say. There's 90% coming up and there's 90% going down. Never ever be at 90% going down at the start of the race. You only suffer from there on."

This makes a lot of sense to me, and I'm kicking myself for not realizing it myself. This morning I slept in a bit since Finn slept until 5:30, then I took Haiden on a 4 mile muffin run instead of doing 10 by myself. I was still tired from yesterday's 22 miles, and my left foot hurt a bit on top of where I have my neuroma. Not a big deal, but I'm sure the run aggravated it, and running quickly like I did yesterday made me too tired to run all 10 this morning so I'm planning on getting in the other 6 tonight when I should be hanging out with the family. I need to get through my thick skull that the Lydiard anaerobic/track phase is about building speed while maintaining, not increasing, endurance. If I keep running my longer runs fast I won't be fresh for the upcoming time trials and races, which is really what I should be focusing on now.

To that end, I am taking it easy tomorrow as well in preparation for Thursday's 5K turkey trot. GASP!!! Two easy days in a row, I'm not sure I can take it! Seriously though, this week I'm scheduled for two 5K time-trials plus one day of 3x1 mile repeats for speed. I plan on going full-bore for the trot, and doing a 10-12 mile marathon pace run during my last 16 miler of the week (Sunday). So my week, starting with yesterday's run, will go- 22, 4/6, 10, 10(race), 16, 10(track), 16(marathon pace). If I don't feel up to it, I'll skip the 1 mile repeats and just go easy on Saturday (my week ends on Sunday), since I figure a 5K full effort and 10-12 miles of marathon pace pretty much equal two 5K efforts and the 3x1 mile repeats.

Nobby's words about 90% coming up compared to 90% going down are wise indeed, I hope I can be true to them.

Training: 4 mile slow muffin run with Haiden in the morning, hopefully another 6 easy by myself this evening.


Love2Run said...

The suspense is killing me! Can't wait for your 5k ;-)

Oh, now I get it (your title), I'm just slow on the uptake sometimes... Good luck!!

Anonymous said...

Look at those big blue eyes! I started reading your blog for the running, but hearing about your adorable children keeps me coming back. Yes, I'm a lurker. But keep up the good job. I can't wait to see how the training pays off.

Thomas said...

That helmet actually looks cute, and your boy is just adorable. I don't think you will get any embarrased stares at all. This will all work out well, you'll see.

psbowe said...

Cute kids!
cool, I assume you're thinking of the PF Chang marathon. 1/2 marathon for me, I think, we'll see.

Mike said...

Thanks everyone for the nice comments. So far Finn is doing well in his new attire. I am doing the full marathon in Phoenix in January, and before that the 1/2 marathon in December in Tucson. Keep those comments on how cute my kids are coming, I just soak those up. I'm more proud of them than anything else I've done.